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Thread: Married for 21 years, but now lonely and unhappy. Started having online affairs.

  1. #11
    Bronze Member EternalOptimis's Avatar
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    Step 1, I'd see a therapist alone. Work through your thoughts & feelings.

    Next, if you want to save your marriage (and it sounds like you do), speak to your husband when you have his undivided attention. Explain where you are at, and explain that you think counselling is the only way you see of improving matters. Give him a few days to process and speak to him again. If he agrees, great. You are on your way.

    If he does not, your life will only get worse, your indiscretions bigger and with them, your guilt.

  2. #12
    Gold Member Betterwithout's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lostandhurt
    I have seen this more and more on here and in real life.

    The man feels it is his duty to provide the best he can for the family and then it becomes who he is which is not unlike when women became somebodies mom and totally lost themselves in the role. Frankly put your husband may think he is doing a great job as a husband, father and provider. He works hard, doesn't cheat, provides for his family, is home at night and is a pretty solid guy. For many men (myself included) that is all we were ever taught or experienced growing up. The fact is that all that is just the nuts and bolts of being a good father/husband.


    Many of us have been around here a long time and have seen guy after guy find themselves here AFTER their wife got fed up and pulled the trigger on divorce. They want to change, they now see the error of their ways and hadn't realized just how serious their wives were.
    My best advice right now is try your very best to get him to understand just how serious you are and what grave danger your marriage is in. Don't threaten divorce but be very frank with him and say "I am very unhappy in our marriage and we need to go to marriage counseling because I don't see this marriage lasting if we don't" Don't expect him to all of a sudden see the light so tell him to think about a few days and you both can talk about finding a counselor.

    This is serious stuff and it needs to be handled with brutal honesty.

    The worst thing is regret and not giving it one last herculean effort to save the marriage. If you try and you still think divorce is what is best for you and your husband then you can go into it with the knowledge that you tried.
    ^ Couldn't have said it better myself. As a guy who's ex-wife did this to him behind his back, I can't think of a more painful experience to be cheated on. Trust is a true lifeline in marriage. I suffered greatly for both emotional and physical affairs and the pain is still there 10 years later.

    Carve out several hours in a day (or several days) to have a serious heart to heart, and don't let him blow it off as you are just venting. If he sees that you are 100% serious and divorce (and all the crap that comes with it) is imminent, then he should pay attention.
    Then counselling for each of you and both of you.
    If that counselling doesnt help you move forward find another therapist.
    Spend the $ thousands on counselling, it will hundreds of thousands at stake! Not to mention the broken hearts of you, your husband and your kids!!!

    and as lostandhurt said, a marriage can come back to life and be better than ever!.

    I wish you well.

  3. #13
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    What I find glaringly apparent from your posts is that you were looking for connection - such a fundamental need for most of us - and when it really wasn't going to happen with your husband, you sought it from other men.

    I'm going to tell you to stop beating yourself up about it, because the way you carried it out ensured that NOTHING was ever going to happen. You ended the correspondence with two of them when the conversations started getting deeper. When it looked as though something physical could have happened, as with Mr Player, you were terrified. These are not the actions of a cold-blooded adulterer, and you're seriously damaging your self esteem by telling yourself they are.

    If you read through your post, it's like a shopping list of the nice connections you could have with people... all the way from light-hearted banter, silly conversations, intellectually stimulating conversations and simple friendship; in other words, a list of your needs. You don't say what your life is like outside your marriage, but are you able to maintain friendships which would supply you with all this, without putting you in a situation where you would feel guilty or jeopardising your marriage? Do you get much mental stimulation from other activities, hobbies or friends?

    By all means go to counselling if there are things you want to do, but are prevented from doing them by the way you're feeling. If you feel that marriage counselling would help, by all means go.

    However, I'm wondering if your life would become more fulfilling if you were able to take care of your needs independently of your husband - without corresponding with guys in secret. A third healthy choice which is a glaring omission is the one where you develop yourself as a person and stop looking to your husband, or any other man, as the sole source of good things in your life.

    Although we're fed with all this stuff about how our husband/wife should take care of all our emotional needs, it's a load of rubbish. Looking to one person to be our "everything" is just completely unrealistic. When you say
    He's so worldly wise and super smart, so different from my husband who's more a common blue collar "working Joe" type.
    it's apparent that you'd like to meet people like this - so have a think about where you might do so in real life in some appropriate social context.

    At the moment you are giving yourself a very stark choice - to stay and be unhappy, or get a divorce. What I'm saying really is that there are other options which seem to have been unexplored; if you take care of yourself, the relationship with your husband will take care of itself.

    You're the only one here who can decide what your feelings and wishes really are, but I'd caution against taking a step which may well leave you even more unhappy and lonely than before.

  4. #14
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    Wow, I could have written this exact same post. I totally understand what you are going through. Its so difficult when the one thing you need you are getting from someone outside your relationship. My husband and I have been going to therapy for over a year now. Its not helping. while work is a huge distractor, the thing that is keeping us together is medical conditions.
    Good luck, I would love to hear how things turn out for you.

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